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Our History and Ethos

Unity Dancing School was founded in 1996 and was an offshoot of the well known Penrhyn School of Dancing. Its main objective was, and of course still is, to bring Classical ballet training to the heart of Walthamstow.

Under the leadership of Renée Cohen - LISTD, who has more than 40 years teaching experience, the school has small classes and is now one of the most respected and well known dance schools in the area. Renée was invited to become a member of the Cecchetti Group in 1999. She is a well known figure who is very much in demand at Cecchetti and other ballet events.

Renée has, from the very start, tried to ensure that every student has the chance to study and perform the art at whatever standard it is felt they are best suited to. Nobody is ever excluded because of ability and among the most important aspects of a student’s time at Unity is that they should enjoy what they are doing whilst at the same time developing self confidence. ISTD (Ballet) examinations are offered to all our students (aged 5+) and the pass rate is extremely high.

UNITY is well known for its work in the community. All our school activities necessitate the co-operation and help of our parents and guardians. We like to involve you in all aspects of school activities. Everyone has something to offer, so if you can make costumes, do hair, sell event tickets, chaperone our younger students or even take part in lessons - you are on our wanted list! We are also one of the very few schools who are pleased to encourage our parents to stay and watch the lessons.

Unity Dancing School is an equal opportunities school and takes students of both sexes, from all backgrounds and of all abilities. Unity is proud of its ethos and is pleased to welcome you along to see what we do and how we do it.

 

School Policies

Registration

Students will not be permitted to take part in their classes unless a current enrolment form has been completed and returned.

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Our Uniform

UNITY Dancing school, has a simple school uniform. It is designed to be inexpensive, easy to get hold of and to maintain. We realise it is not always possible to send students to class in the correct clothes. However we do hope that every effort will be made to do.

New Starters :   Please feel free to let the student dress in comfortable and suitable clothing (this also includes their foot wear) but let them feel the part. It adds to the fun! First three weeks only.

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Health and Safety Procedures

Please ensure that all students arrive and leave fully clothed and not just in ballet attire. If you are collecting a student please come into the hall.

Please make sure that you are familiar with the health and safety procedures so that should the need arise everyone will know where to meet and how to get there.

Thank you for understanding about signing in and out at Whittingham Academy and ticking your name at Unity Hall. The School has also requested that the parents and children must either be watching class or leave the building and not stay in the changing rooms or corridors etc. unless Renee or Espe are around supervising.

Absence

If your child cannot attend a class, please call or text Renee on 07961348969.

Hair

Please be reminded that long hair or hair with beads, must be tied up and well secured. This is most important especially when you are doing pirouettes.

Water

It is good practice to ensure that all students have a bottle of water with them to help prevent dehydration

Our Curriculum

Here is a guideline as to how our school year is planned

September-December

We continue with the Cechetti curriculum.

January-April

This is our exams term. It usually takes place a Sunday before Easter holidays

April-July is our creative term

We start a fresh Cechetti syllabus. We also work on improvisation, choreography where 90% of the work will be student input.

 

Ballet Exams

Graded examinations are recognised by QCA and Ofqual and as such may be submitted as part of the student’s full time educational profile(to GCSE ‘O’ and ’A’ Levels). They are offered from age 7 and up. Class exams, by an ISTD qualified examiner also offered from age 5 and up. Extra coaching prior to exams are arranged each year. (Included in examination costs.)

Prior to exams material is supplied to the student for home practice. This will be supplied on a CD ROM. The CD will become the responsibility of the student and replacements will be chargeable. The musical content is a guide and may not be the examination day music. Certificates are issued by the ISTD . Names will be spelt as written on the enrolment form. Please take care when filling out this form as mistakes can be difficult to rectify afterwards. Exam fees must be fully paid by the specified dates and non-payment may result in the student being unable to participate on the day.

Our exams are accompanied by live piano music.

Fees and Payments

Fees are based on ten-week sessions tied in to the local school term. Discounted fees are available for people paying in full, by the third week of the term. A 10% surcharge will be added to term fees if they are unpaid by half-term.

There is a 10% discount from the term’s fees for families with more than one child attending.Please speak to Renée should you feel the need to make special arrangements for payment options.

Payments: Please make sure any cheques are filled out correctly and placed in an envelope clearly marked with the student’s name and class together with the amount and the reason for payment (Fees, uniform, exams etc.) Please do the same if paying with cash. Please make all cheques payable to UNITY DANCING SCHOOL.